Our Names Are Autism, Too

September 11th, 2004

In her essay "My Name is Autism," Marty Murphy, a 41 year-old (by self-description) "high functioning" autistic woman describes what autism means to her. In a "Dear Sir/Madam" letter, which frequently was circulated in conjunction with the "My Name is Autism" essay, Ms. Murphy, posing as a 25 year-old male, claimed to be speaking for all autistics (using such phrases as "those of us with autism would like an answer" and "we are all waiting for our answer").

We, the undersigned, neither agree with Ms. Murphy's conception of autism nor appreciate Ms. Murphy's claim to be speaking for "those of us."

We do not believe that we are akin to "calves born in Texas with defects," that we are "victims" of autism, and that our families were "taken hostage" by autism.

We do not believe that autism "taketh away and gives nothing but bewilderment and loathing in return;" that autism "takes away common sense" and "all but physical life;" that autism "looks for new children to consume and new lives to destroy."

We do not believe that being autistic "is almost worse than death."

We find these statements to be dangerous, sensationalist and false. We believe these statements demean and devalue the lives of all autistics. These statements resonate with similar historical efforts to incite fear and hatred against identifiable groups of people, with the goal of restricting then eliminating the existence of these people.

Finally, we do not "dread the day" that autism "will be looked upon with understanding," and we do not believe that will be the day that autism will "die." Rather, we wholeheartedly welcome the day that we, as proud autistics, are understood and fully accepted for who we are.

Peruse our websites, read our books, listen to our words. Appreciate our voices.

  1. jypsy (Janet Norman-Bain), http://www.PlanetAutism.com Ooops... Wrong Planet!

  2. Alex Bain, http://www.PlanetAutism.com/alex.htm Alex's Life on the Spectrum.

  3. Ben Bain, http://www.PlanetAutism.com/ben.htm Ben's Life on the Spectrum.

  4. Ian Christopher Johnson.

  5. Amy and Gareth Nelson, www.aspiesforfreedom.com Aspies For Freedom. - "We dont agree with the sentiments expressed by "Marty", it is a negative view and not representative about how we feel."

  6. Kassiane Alexandra Sibley, Author: "Twice Exceptional", essay in Reflections from a Different Journey, and co-author of Ask And Tell: Self Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum (I wrote chapter 2).

  7. Michelle Dawson, http://www.sentex.net/~nexus23/naa_02.html, No Autistics Allowed; also http://www.autistics.org/library/dawson-response.html and http://www.autistics.org/library/hatespeech.html.

  8. Betina Rae, age 45, B.C. Canada.

  9. Megan Rae, age 16, B.C. Canada.

  10. Judy Badner, http://www.picturepage.net The Autism Picture Page.

  11. Amanda M. Baggs, http://amanda.autistics.org/, assistant webmaster of autistics.org. I have writing in the Autism Information Library - http://www.autistics.org/library/. I am a non-speaking 24-year-old and find it appalling that the author of this piece has created a fictional identity strikingly similar to my real life in order to promote views I would never promote.

  12. Laura A. Tisoncik, webmaster of autistics.org. I have writing in the Autism Information Library - http://www.autistics.org/library/.

  13. Clay Adams, 58, New York, http://www.mogulmarketing.com/clay/chipsy.htm Clay Adam's Page.

  14. Cody "codeman38" Boisclair, http://www.zone38.net/

  15. Phil Schwarz, Aspie father of an autistic son, Jeremy; Vice-President, Asperger's Association of New England (www.aane.org); co-author of Ask and Tell: Self Advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum (Shore, Stephen, ed., Shawnee Mission, KS: Autism Asperger Publishing Co., 2004); contributing author to autistics.org (see www.autistics.org/library); member of the planning committee for Autreat (www.ani.ac/autreat.html), the annual conference/retreat of Autism Network International (www.ani.ac).

  16. Torley Wong, age 23 http://www.torley.com torley's techno music & anti-techno music blog.

  17. Carissa Spoor, a 28 year old Aspie http://home.earthlink.net/~carissa27 and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Women_WhoDespise_TheirExs

  18. Louise "Louis" Marie Gainor.

  19. David N. Andrews
    BA-status, PgCertSpEd(AppEdPsychol)
    Applied Educational Psychologist
    Kotka, Finland

  20. Suzanne Shaw, http://www.as-if.org.uk AS-IF.

  21. Debbie Storey, 39, UK. http://www.tshirtrebel.com/Sideways/ and http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/sidewaysmind/ Sideways Minds

  22. Ben Storey, 15, UK.

  23. Sam Storey, 11, UK

  24. Stephen M. Shore, Autistic; President, Asperger's Association of New England (www.aane.org); former board member of Autism Society of America (http://www.autism-society.org); Author of Beyond the Wall: Personal Experiences with Autism and Asperger Syndrome and Editor of Ask and Tell: Self-advocacy and Disclosure for People on the Autism Spectrum; Finishing doctoral dissertation on autism; My website http://www.autismasperger.net AutismAsperger.net.

  25. Donna Williams, http://www.donnawilliams.net DONNA WILLIAMS... International public speaker and Author of the autobiographical series; Nobody Nowhere, Somebody Somewhere, Like Color To The Blind, Everyday Heaven, the text books Autism; An Inside Out Approach, Autism And Sensing; The Unlost Instinct, Exposure Anxiety; The Invisible Cage and (upcoming) The Jumbled Jigsaw as well as the poetry/prose collection Not Just Anything. I am a person diagnosed with Autism who has spent a large chunk of my life celebrating the personhood of all people with Autism, myself included.

  26. Kathleen Fasanella, AS dx 8/99 http://www.kathleenfasanella.com KathleenFasanella.com

  27. minna mettinen, age 38 ontario canada photographs by Minna Mettinen, Taking the "local" to Toronto in mukluks Minna reports on the The Geneva Centre’s International Symposium on Autism 2002., REFLECTIONS ON: “AUTISM A PART OF WHO I AM” BY TEMPLE GRANDIN written by Minna Mettinen, The journey to get a support worker: How to get services when you are denied them (note: all written work my minna at OAARSN sites are edited by OAARSN)

  28. Gerald (Jerry) Newport, adult with Asperger Syndrome, husband of spouse with Asperger's Syndrome, founder of AGUA (Adult Gathering, United and Autistic) in Los Angeles, and support groups in Phoenix and Tucson, International speaker, author of "Your Life is Not a Label", co-author of "Autism, Asperger's and Sexuality" and "Mozart and The Whale", consultant and inspiration for movie; "Mozart and The Whale", secretary of Autism Society of Pima County, Past member - Board of Directors of Autism Society of Los Angeles and Programs for the Developmentally Handicapped Inc., Past Chairman of Autism Society of America Adult Advisory Panel, Past member of San Diego County Democratic Party Central Committee, Shop Steward - Seafarer's International Union.

  29. Kimberly Tucker, 39, http://www.mimestream.bravehost.com Mimestream's Story. Look for "Women From Another Planet" available from Barnes and Noble online, a real portrayal of women on the spectrum. My stories in that anthology are 'Eraser Balls' and 'Because Its Friday.' I am a frequent contributor to Planet Vermont Quarterly, March St. Press, and KALEIDOSCOPE (Exploring the Experience of Disability Through Literature and The Fine Arts)... also I've written for Hearing Health and Curbside Review. among others. Autisticness is not just just some condition shining through my personality waiting for a 'cure'...its me. And it ain't broke.

  30. Lucas McCarty, 20, "Find me one Autistic with no co-morbids, no self-esteem issues and shows they are not being told what to say that can agree with this tosh."

  31. Tony Langdon, http://members.optusnet.com.au/tlang1 Tony's Home Page and Information Resources.

  32. David K. March, 39, Springfield, Missouri (US). Self-diagnosed with "Asperger's" in July of 2002; formally diagnosed with same in January of 2004. Volunteer, activist, and lifelong student of cognitive science, psychology, sociology, ethics, peace and justice, gender issues, interdisciplinary relations, music, literature...and so on. Relevant webpages: http://profiles.yahoo.com/dkmnow and http://www.livejournal.com/users/dkmnow/. "Autistics read books. Autistics write books. You can't 'read' us in person - SO READ US IN PRINT !" -DKM

  33. Diane Burczyk, Redcliff, Alberta, age 47

  34. Parrish S. Knight, age 36, Silver Spring, MD, diagnosed autistic. Autism is not something I have. It is integral to who I am. Eliminate the autism, and you eliminate me. When you say you want a cure, you are saying I should be put to death. Think about it.

  35. Denise "Moggy" DeGraf, 27, Bay Area of California -- http://sonic.net/mustang/moggy Autistic, BA from U.C. Berkeley in English; perseverant on cats, disability studies, and autism. Most of my writing is on discussion lists and personal site posts. I'm moderator of the YahooGroups "Autism Spectrum And Proud Of It", "Autism Spectrum People", "Autism Spectrum Couples", and the LiveJournal community "Asperger". Happily partnered to also-autistic Parrish S. Knight.

  36. Jane Meyerding, http://mjane.zolaweb.com

  37. Felix Seidel Physical age 14, aspie, not a "victim" of a "disorder" "almost worse than death". This stuff is just bathetic, pointless rhetoric. "I am not a number. I am a free man!" - the unnamed protagonist, "The Prisoner"

  38. Kis Brink

  39. Camilla "elmindreda" Berglund, Sweden http://www.elmindreda.org/reflections/ Reflections.

  40. Jessica Ross, 20, Ames, IA

  41. Tracy Rivera

  42. Abigail Rivera

  43. Camille Clark, 45, upstate California www.oddizm.com I do not understand why Marty/Omri felt justified in writing this position paper on the worthlessness of autism that distinctly implies the worthlessness of autistics. Autistics through their autism have contributed greatly to the world. We are not worthless. We are not culls.

  44. Edgar R. Schneider, Autistic Author: 1) Discovering My Autism: Apologia Pro Vita Sua (With Apologies to Cardinal Newman), and 2) Living the Good Life with Autism.

  45. Mara Palmen

  46. Drew M. Goldsmith, age 8; dx'd at 23 mos; http://psych.wisc.edu/lang/drew.html; "Only true love can differentiate stupidity and ugliness from brilliance and beauty."

  47. Lora 'Miut' Davies, UK (http://miut.livejournal.com) and (http://www.akaxo.net).

  48. Jan Rankowski, 10,

  49. Lisa Angel, 20, Ames, IA. Though I have some inclination to be published, http://www.livejournal.com/~katiuska is all I have. (Someday...)

  50. Philip Arnold Ashton , UK

  51. Bridgett Kathleen Mahoney, IL, USA

  52. Paul Hubbard, Lancashire, UK - The self is not some kind of equation where one can add and subtract 'undesirable' characteristics at will. Take away the behaviours and perceptions of the Autistic and you do not cure them you destroy a unique individual. I do not need others to speak for me, I can manage that quite well by myself. If the author had referred to Blacks, Jews or Gays in the way 'he' does with Autistics no-one would stand for it, so why the double standards? The word "ignorance" might be a better substitute for "Autism" in the article, perhaps?

  53. Laura S. Day, a full time college student, age 34, aspie, and mother to two beautiful aspie children, who surprise me with something new every day.

  54. Helen Ford, a 20 year old dxed with Aspergers, and living in Scotland I have a livejournal http://www.livejournal.com/users/llamaseatwork which is really about being at uni. Nothing else

  55. Thomas B. Vinyard,Webmaster, www.autismforum.net

  56. Mark A. Craig, a self-described high-functioning autistic (lacking in function at the moment) and wannabe benevolent world dictator, founder of the "Sacra-Mentals" freethought group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sacra-mentals/). His perseverations are allegedly technology, tropical plants, computers, bicycle touring, and countless others, though he can't seem to persevere for any length of time. He also has five cats. at least one of which has learned his autistic traits. :-) Thus far he's lacked the executive function to vent the book or two rampaging inside his head, but he writes volumes in several Yahoo! groups and forums, now including Autistic Advocacy (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/autadvo/).

  57. Larry Arnold, 7x7 in 04 Autistic, Dyslexic, Artistic and here to stay. First diagnosed autistic person to serve on the board of the National Autistic Society of the UK and long standing advocate of disability rights. "I didn't get where I am today by not being autistic" :) http://www.larry-arnold.com

  58. My name is Justin Hurtado, a person with the diagnosis of Autism who believes ignorance and discrimination against those who are different is the root cause of the referenced "pain and suffering" . Perhaps the rise in "Autism" , with it's associated differences in processing and thinking has more to do with evolutionary changes that will be necessary for the future survival of mankind.

  59. GD, AS, middle-aged, female and proud of it all, Dublin. I can live with "strikingly handsome" but as for the rest...NO WAY...and NOBODY speaks for me unless they discuss what they plan to say WITH me first...

  60. Sara Moodiehttp://forums.delphiforums.com/AspieAutiAdults/start, http://www.cafeshops.com/proudlyautistic

  61. Yakoub Islam, Tasneem Project http://www.bayyinat.org.uk/

  62. JANET J. WALSH

  63. "Unstereotypical", British Columbia, Canada. Age: 39. Diagnosis: HFA, GAD, OCD, SAD, and multiple physical challanges. Mother, raising my son alone.
    Comments: Cure ignorance and cure cancer, not my autism. Embrace our diversity as individuals. Yes sometimes life is a difficult road but life is a learning experience good or bad and we all have something to offer this world even it it's something as simple as compassion, kindness, or something extrodiary in sciences and art. My website: http://www.unstereotypical.net

  64. Campbell McGregor, Glasgow, AS

  65. Mary Cozart, http://myautis.com MyAutis.Com - I'm a proud mother of 2 autistic sons, and I have Asperger's Syndrome. My website has many links for various aspects of the spectrum, including a message board, faces of autism, poems, and MUCH more.

  66. Meryl, 17 yr old, high functioning autistic. You say you take away all but physical life and that it's almost worse than death. But I am sitting here typing, after a day of school, reading a book, listening to music, doing dishes, and enjoying life.
    A disturbing quote: "I see the embarrassment their child causes because of me and the parents unsuccessful attempt to hide their child" This sounds intolerance on the part of the parents trying to hide their children.
    Another disturbing quote: "I see the fear and confusion in the eyes of my victims and the see the formation of wrinkles, the worries and pain on the face of their parents." This sounds like the description of a someone dying.
    What has been done to the person who wrote this? Have they been told this over and over until they believe that they are useless? That's a shame, and no one should feel that way about anyone, no matter what their disability.

  67. My name is Marcie Kimball. Marty Murphy states that the only thing that that austim fears is courage. I have Asperger's Syndrome, and AS has been a great challenge but it has also given me the ability and the courage to think for myself rather than simply taking the answer's that other people have given me.

  68. Sarah K. Groseclose, 34, Asperger's Syndrome and
  69. daughter, Amanda K. Miller, 14, Asperger's Syndrome. Nevada, USA

  70. Ivan Evans

  71. Katharine Annear BAppSc(Disability Studies)31 year old woman with Asperger disorder, OCD, Hereditary Essential Myoclonus. Dedicated to assisting fellow spectum travellers to reach thier full potential and to protecting and empowering girls and young women on the spectrum. www.geocities.com/a_u_t_a_p In particular www.geocities.com/a_u_t_a_p/10th.html.
    Who are these people who claim to represent 'us'. This is not an isolated phenomenon.

  72. Nete Christiansen, 23, Denmark

  73. Andrew Watts - Age 25, has AS, North Texas. Article: http://srl2.tripod.com/andrew/asperger.htm

  74. Ondrea Robinson http://community.webtv.net/ondrea26/LaMedalladeOropara/ Hi. I am an autistic girl. I read the story, and basically, how can someone make up a story like that? That's ridiculous! Marty should realize that autism is a disorder, not a disease, and that autistics are very intelligent, no matter how bad their situations may be. This is why people should be careful about the info they give out on the Internet. There are maniacs out there.

  75. Debra A. Bettis, Esq., NY, USA

  76. Dylan Lainhart, dx'ed Asperger's Feb. 1997

  77. Duncan Keighley, 28, diagnosed AS, UK. Parent of a 7 yr old Aspie. I don't recognise this description - I pity the person who wrote it. Autism comes in all flavours and this misguided sh*tstirrer is blind to all of them.My livejournal - http://www.livejournal.com/users/duncvis/ if you have a strong stomach.

  78. Jason M. Bullett, 21, NYS and Vermont, USA (I live in New York State but go to college in Vermont)

  79. Guy A. Anderson, 20, Pacific Northwest, Atypical Autism. "Those who critically misunderstand others will be critically misunderstood themselves."

  80. My name is Gail Pennington and I host the Aspie Hangout on Delphi. The URL is: http://forums.delphiforums.com/aspies/start. I also contributed to the book "Women From Another Planet?"

  81. Anne Carpenter, a 47 year old woman with autism who has a degree in library science and am working on a book about being an adult with autism and I want this outrage stopped now. I read that statement and it's little more than a thinly disguised pity campaign.:-(

  82. Jack Hudson. Aged 8 and three quarters. "If everyone understood "My World", then the world would be a happier place". After a long battle to get his "naughty and egocentric" behaviour acknowledged finally diagnosed as having Aspergers.

  83. Alexander Plank, I'm an 18 year old who runs the website http://www.wrongplanet.net

  84. Clare Sainsbury, diagnosed with Asperger's syndrome, works with autistic children considered by others to be "low-functioning" and knows that they have not been "consumed" or "destroyed" any more than I have, author of "Martian in the Playground", http://www.users.dircon.co.uk/~cns/index.html

  85. M. A. Labombard - "useless", "souless" "burden to humanity", creator of http://www.biersuppe.com/

  86. Trisha van Berkel, Bloomingdale, ON; proud to be AS, proud to be mama of three happy-spirited kids: a supersocial and best-big-brother-in-the-world son (12yo, NT), a wonderful creative boy (9yo, PDD-NOS) and a bright jumpy/dreamy girl (7yo, AS).
    Autism is not a puzzle, nor a disease. Autism is a challange, but certainly not a devistating one.
    Autism is about having a pure heart and being very sensitive... It is about finding a way to survive in an overwhelming, confusing world... It is about developing differently, in a different pace and with different leaps.
    Autistic beings develop and bloom if their spirits, talents and self-esteem are not destroyed by bullies, prejudice, 'doggie-training', and being forced to be 'normal'.

  87. Reverend Mike Bosberry. 37. dx'ed Asperger's 1995.

  88. Adam G. Sanford. 33, dx'd atypical autistic in 2002. I don't need an answer to anything but this - why is it that neurotypicals are so hellbent on eradicating autistics and our autistic culture? They're no better than oralists were to Deaf people at the beginning of the last century. Autism is the new deafness.

  89. freestone Wilson while never "officially" diagnosed with autism, I recall from my childhood most of the signs of mild high level functioning autism. Not the "left brained" "little professor", but the right brained Thinking in images and thinking only in one subject at a time, Multitasking is not for me!
    My dreams are amazing, I about once per week or so, dream of visiting places in the Afterlife, heaven, worlds where we all go after we die! Two way conversations with my relatives there too! I have a weblog where i write about my life here in the world. "my life after near death experiences" http://freestone.blogspot.com/ and....another weblog where i have written up some of these dreams for you to read. "Afterlife files" http://afterlifefiles.blogspot.com/"
    My daily life is strange and interesting, 63 years now of this Interesting life! if I had to wear a pin on my lapel, my "nametag", it might read....."A psychic Autistic person"! freestone

  90. Aleph. I initially decided not to add myself to the list because you required more details of my personal life than I was willing to give, but on reading the list I see precedent that you have accepted people who did not give those details. I cannot link my full name to my work and my voice because the abusers of my past are still trying to find me.
    I am a reasonably functioning autistic woman, 27 years of age, with Asperger's disorder. I am happily married to a neurotypical man of extraordinary IQ and great patience. Yes, my parents were embarassed of me, and yes they tried to beat the 'different' out of me. My husband appreciates my neurodiversity, and makes a comfortable environment for me. I write about the coping mechanisms I find in life, and those have been (mistakenly) quoted by autism resources under my husband's name, but I am in no way an authority and do not portray myself as such.
    I am an artist and I do not treat autism as my identity. I do not want to be 'cured' of who I am, only to find ways to function in a world NTs make very difficult to deal with, and I am frustrated by my inability to find that help. I think those most concerned with finding out what causes autism are the frightened neurotypicals who don't want their babies coming out 'wrong'. I don't believe autism is on the rise, I believe the world is becoming more personally demanding, more false, more chaotic, and the threshhold below which our problems go unnoticed is sinking away from us. Autistics have always been a part of the world.
    The only research we really need is research that lets us master the ways our brains deal with the world, and sensational blather like that will not lead us in the right direction. The bulk of research I see from that research goes towards removing our coping mechanisms to make us less upsetting to NTs, and instilling in us a sense of inferiority that keeps us from putting our neurology to work for us. This plea made me angry and I am still perseverating on it.
    I cannot comprehend why the author would create a deceptive identity to do this, it seems pointless and nonsensical. It defies everything I ever thought about the way we think. I can understand wanting to conceal one's self but not creating a false self for this purpose. Is there anything you can point me to that expresses her rationale for this? I haven't found it myself.
    I am #1 in horror comics at onlinecomics.net. As for books, I am currently working on the novelizations of my online comic, a story which has hooked readers because an autistic has written it from beginning to end-- with the kind of complexity and thoroughness that comes with the way we think.
    No imagination? No humour? No love? No way.

  91. Ellen Schousboe - Aspergers, 19 years old, proudly a student of Hamline University, College of Liberal Arts, first-year. I do not have a disease and I am not deformed. I do not suffer from Autism or Aspergers. I suffer from intolerance and the "medical model" that says I have a disease that must be cured, and tries to beat me into submission, change who I am, and turn me into a "normal" person, instead of accepting me for who I am and making accomodations for my existence and success in life.

  92. Rod Van Mechelen, publisher of www.backlash.com, author of several articles on Asperger's Disorder, first diagnosed with Autism in 1996, and later diagnosed with Asperger's Disorder.

  93. TR Kelley - Central Oregon Coast USA, ~~~girlguitargeek~~~
    indy recording artist, etc....http://www.raventones.com, specifically eccentric.... http://www.raventones.com/autism.html, New! Improved! Foamy! Scented! ...cantankerously trapezoidal meanderings and hyperliterate non-sequitirs! Dig the Blog! http://www.raventones.com/news.html

  94. Wanda J. Harkins SWF 44 YO Asperger's Adult. Waitstaff/Dietary Aide in Retirement Home's Independent Dining Room (5 years). Previously held many nonunion service related jobs since 18. Twice a client of Goodwill Industries. Occasional Vocational Rehabilitation client. A late bloomer to life's offerings/opportunities and in attaining personal/individual milestones,
    I hope this sheds a much needed light on things AS and autism related. Each one of us must be treated and accepted on an INDIVIDUAL basis according to our own capabilities. The majority of us would much rather "have life's flowers" given to us so we can enjoy them while we're alive.
    My main prayer (I NEVER make New Years' Resolutions as they aren't befitting us ACs) is for Neurodiversity Acceptance, Education & Awareness within society. We are by no means those perpetual assembly line clones where (God forbid) if there are "flaws/imperfections." We ARE living among the Human Race here and now.
    I am a 44 year old Aspie single female. I am employed fulltime and drive a car. I have troubles with reaching important milestones in my life. Like any woman, I jones for that American Dream lifestyle-a la Carol Brady. In my so-called reality, my present 5 years of employment runs equivalent to 10 years worth of employment at a company. I have had bad relationships throughout my public school years (during the 1960's and the 1970's). The same can be said (and a lot left to be desired) of dating and employment ventures. All this on account of being Asperger's and being easily misunderstood.
    I am a staunch beleiver in being treated with dignity and respect for the the individual I am and believe the Golden Rule. I worship at West Market Street United Methodist Church in Greensboro, North Carolina and my faith has played a huge part in my upbringing. Without it, I honestly can't say where I would be today. I also am one who claims to be "pro quality/pro dignity" rather than be pro choice or pro life. Having experienced and witnessed my own pains accompanying AS has had vast impact here. I do however revere life. It's just that I would not want to wish this on even my worst adversary (unless it was Bin Laden.) Despite what I've lived through, I admit no guilt and shame to being one with Aspergers. What sense does it make to diss someone for having (enter ailment of choice here)?? Especially when that individual and their family/caregivers are being responsible with the individual's daily regimen? We as society MUST make it OUR responsibility to UNDERSTAND others if we are going to attain any kind of success in the world.
    http://community.webtv.net/tikigalharkins/LETSTALKASPERGERS

  95. Kate Gladstone - an adult who has Asperger's, who has built an internationally recognized career in the field of handwriting remediation for those with and without disabilities, and who has appeared in THE NEW YORK TIMES for her work in this field.

  96. Rebecca Young, Manchester, UK www.livejournal.com/users/beccaviola The only people qualified to speak for me are people who live with and have lived through what I live with and have lived through. Not doctors. Not parents especially not other people s parents. Not teachers. Who are they? What right have they got to say what they think I need or want?

  97. My name is Leonie Bouwman and I'm a 19 year old girl from the Netherlands. At the age of 18, I was diagnosed with severe Asperger's Syndrome/HFA. Since then, the only thing I fought for was acceptance and spreading knowledge of autism worldwide. I suffer from not being understood, sensory overload and bureaucracy, not from being autistic (which is: being myself). Sometimes I hate being able to write and talk becaus some non-autistics consider it a crime expressing yourself in a way they didn't expected. At night I dream of a world in which I can rock, flap, spin and enjoy my perservations without being misunderstood. I want the world to be cured.

  98. Kevin Phillips - aged 28 and a half, lives in Yorkshire, England, diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome in May 2000. Website address www.angelfire.com/amiga/aut/
    I believe that money should be spent on improving the lives of people with Autistic Spectrum Conditions rather than finding out what the causes of them are. In Education. In Employment. In Society and general life. It is that what would make our lives better. Mainstream society has a bigger problem with our conditions than what we do and in many ways it is mainstream society that bring out more of the negative aspects of them and frowns upon the positive aspects. I also don't like the use of the term "Autistic Spectrum Disorder". I am not disordered. I am not a dramatic attention-seeker, I not a conman, I am not a compulsive liar and I don't take pleasure from harming other people or animals. Autism and AS are conditions, not disorders.

  99. Jim Sinclair, www.jimsinclair.org, autistic person, coordinator of Autism Network International (www.ani.ac), producer of Autreat (www.ani.ac/autreat.html), co-moderator of ANI-L listserv (www.ani.ac/ani-l-info.html), author of "Don't Mourn For Us" (www.jimsinclair.org/dontmourn.htm), and rehabilitation counselor specializing in autism

  100. Rachel Newstead: 43-year-old self-diagnosed Asperger's person. I am a former magazine cartoonist and have currently turned my attention to writing music. These talents, I believe, came about *because* of Asperger's, not in spite of it. It is what makes me *me*, and is not something I would wish to eliminate.

  101. My name is Lisa the Dreamer, that is what I am known as online. I don't give out my last name for my own protection. I am an Aspie with a late diagnosis (since July 2003). My web page is http://www.visi.com/~unique
    My son Ben C. is also on the spectrum, he is 19 and has Down Syndrome. He has a page linked from mine.

  102. Ryan McReynolds - male age 26 from Birch Run, Michigan, USA Website address is: http://www.soundclick.com/ryanmcreynolds
    I am very upset that 1st of all we see Cure Autism Now, Athletes Against Autism and other things that are a blatant disregard and defamation to Autism, and now we see ignorant idiots out there comparing Autism to Mad Cow Disease, a massive fury would be raised if Down Syndrome, Dyslexia, Cerebal Palsy and loads of other Disabilities were being referred to the same way Autism is being referred to, yet some of us Auties are seen as nuts if we don't wish to be cured of our Autism, I mean come on the fury that would be raised over Cure Down Syndrome Now, Cure Cerebal Palsy Now and Cure whatever else now is not being raised over Cure Autism Now, gee why is that? If it is because Bruno Bettleheim played a role in making Autism to be a shameful thing to have well I got News for everyone Bruno Bettleheim blew own his head off. May is Refridgerator Mother theory rot in hell with him. If someone really cares greatly about Autism from the get go they would have the courtesy to maybe use better words like Help Autism Now, Athletes Helping Autistic people, and instead of comparing it to Mad Cow disease why not ask us Auties how we feel about things instead of assuming and acting like we don't have minds of our own. May God help the insensitive see the error of their ways.

  103. Spencer Gustin, sixteen year old Aspie.

  104. Nathaniel Joseph Keith Currie Andrew, 12 years old, "I am blown away by the prejudice against Autism. I have Asperger's Syndrome and two physical disabilities. The My Name Is Autism thing is beyond stupidity. I think that if the world didn't have any Autistic people then the world would be hopeless."

  105. Ruth-Anne Andrew, 39, Aspie Mom, I honestly couldn't continue reading all of the My Name is Autism because it made me feel so sick and disgusted - like I was confronted with kiddie porn or some other kind of cruel hate propaganda.

  106. Barry Rosenbaum, 20, Student at University of Rhode Island. Diagnosed with AS in 2000. http://aspergers.korsil.net

  107. Jennifer Elizabeth Waddington. Not 'the weird kid', 'the robot', 'the computer','the eccentric one'. Help me cope with HFA traits in the rest of the world, yes. But don't ignore them. Don't try make me turn into a different person.

  108. My name is Rebekah Leaf. I have Asperger's syndrome and I think that my son might, too. I am happy the way I am and do not need any 'cures' to be 'normal'. Blog: http://cobaltmoon.blogspot.com Website: http://chamoisee.atypedigital.com/

  109. Katherine Albrecht "Thoughts of a High Functioning Autistic Teen" I am 14 and diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome. I am proudly on the autistic spectrum and my experiences are in no way synonymous with Marty Murphy's interpretation. My life is not "almost worse than death" nor does autism "taketh away and give nothing but bewilderment and loathing in return". I do fear the day when autism will be eradicated from the planet, but that is because that such an event would make me an entirely different person. Luckily for me, I have many more years of being myself. I am also invisibly disabled with cystic fibrosis, a condition that I oppose much more than autism, which puts all relatively small problems that autism might cause for me in perspective.

  110. Laurie FM, 44 years old. Undiagnosed but going through the process. I find it appalling that a fellow autistic can stick labels on those of us who have struggled and fought to be understood, appreciated, heard, respected and integrated. Like most other autistics, I can speak for myself, thank-you very much, Ms Murphy.

  111. Stephen Miller. 20 Year Old with Asperger Syndrome, on a HND in Software Developement with eyes to develop video games and/or write fiction in a professional capacity, after getting a degree in computing. If anything, AS has benefitted me and while very occasionally AS has made things more awkward for me, overall I don't think I'd do as well at what I've done with my life if I was NT. I also firmly believe that the vast majority of problems I have encountered are the creation of the NT-dominated society I live in rather than AS.
    Furthermore, I would not hesitate to reject an offer to live my life again as an NT if I was guaranteed a life free from the bullying I faced in school. Without my AS my life would have gone a completely different path, and as such I would not be where I am today, and if I were, it would be with a different perspective, which means I wouldn't be able to offer the world the specific skills and perspective on the universe that I have today.
    I have a livejournal at http://www.livejournal.com/users/haunter_uk/, a few short stories (and some unfinished multi-chapter stories) at http://www.fanfiction.net/u/126693/ (fanfiction site) and a couple of short stories at http://www.fictionpress.com/~haunteruk (original fiction site). Comedy wise, I authored http://www.digworld.com/nazgul/sandy/(pokebattles, Sandy Version), as well as co-authoring various other pokebattles versions, one of which (Wave Version - www.digworld.com/wave) is audio comedy.

  112. Kelly Styron, 22. Residing in Indiana, USA. http://nllmki.livejournal.com/ is the link to my livejournal where my novel in progress can be found. My autobiography and my short fiction pieces can also be found here. I am a member of several communities and websites online. I am a fairly happy person and I live my life day by day because there is no other way to live it. I am yet unemployed but hopeful. Happily partnered to the lovely Cristina Deptula, who is also on the spectrum.

  113. Kimberly Gerry-Tucker, dx'ed aspergers 2000,has three kids, widowed- a son dx'ed high functioning autism.
    Kim's Online Pages
    Women From Another Planet, a book in which I have two stories: Eraser Balls and 'Cause Its Friday.
    Me, on The Adult Picture Project; miming.
    A story which appeared in Planet Vermont Quarterly:(Shades Of Grey)
    Autism is...NOT shameful, not hopeless, not 'eyes without a face.' It is the integral me-the self. Whatever place on the spectrum I reside, I reside there not of choice but I reside there choosing to not be ashamed, to be hopeful and to try and "see" the truth clearly. Higher than thous' and so-called professionals have condescendingly looked down the nose at me; and to them: Pbbbblllllllltttttttt!

  114. My name is Kelly Richardson and I am a 24-year-old female aspie. I would tend suspect that the reason why the percentage of those "struck" with autism or autism spectrum disorder is "increasing", is because society awareness is going up, and so more and more people are being diagnosed. Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is named as such because it is anywhere on the spectrum between autism and "normalcy". Therefore, the closer the person with ASD is to being "normal" the harder it is to detect and many families (as a result of a past labling of anyone with a diagnosis that has to do with a difference in their brain as "crazy") choose to just say their kid is "clueless", "eccentric" or, because of the fact that people with ASD for a variety of reasons tend to march to their own drummer "spoiled". Fortunatly for the younger aspie's, society's increasing awareness of ASD is making it more of an accepted condition and as a result more and more people are coming out of the woodwork. Consequenty, it is becoming increasingly mainstream-hence the "growing" number who are have Autism Spectrum Disorder. I do not feel that the word "disorder" is an accurate description of an aspie's condition. To me, the benefits of the so-called "disorder" far exceed the negative aspects of it. Metaphorically speaking, most people go through life with a tiny-holed sieve that only allows them to see everything from a distance. They look at a forest and see a forest, a garden and see a garden. An aspie, with their unique condition is able to see everything up close-to take in the beauty of every flower in the garden, to admire the color and shape of the petals, to touch their softness, to hear the birds sing, notice the beautiful butterflies in the air, the tiny toads on the ground -and harbors a geniune appreciation for all these wonders. Its not just a garden but anywhere; to an aspie the world is an incrediby facinating and interesting place. To me, ASD can be looked at as a gift. Figuratively speaking, in a world where almost everyone sees only shades of gray, we are able to see color. All this said, I can totally understand how ASD could be seen as a curse. The family of an aspie should be understanding and supportive of such a special child, and their uniqueness should be celebrated (Just as the vast majority of you wonderful family members of aspies who wrote in do) but this is not always the case. As an example I will briefly share my own experience which has been aything but positive... The family I was born into does not like to aknowlege that any one is different. I was always forced to go about my life as a "normal" child and was yelled at, critizized and told everyone thought I was a freak when I didn't. I was always made to feel ashamed of myself. I tried my hardest to function as a normal person. I watched the kids who were well-liked and tried to emulate their behavior, but then I was literally mirroring everything they did. They started calling me "copycat" and the teachers, thinking I was causing trouble yelled at me all the time until I stopped. Everyone around me was always angry at me and I always felt like I was a bad child as a result, but i never knew what to do to change. It seemed that no matter how hard I tried, everything I did was wrong. Eventually I was austracized from the rest of the house except when I had to go to school where my unhappiness with myself radiated outward to everyone around me and being kids, they picked on me- which made me feel even worse. I would go home crying and tell my mother how vicious they were to me and she would say there must be something I was doing to make them treat me that way. It got worse and worse until unable to deal with the other kids incessant cruelties, I started making up illnesses and then when that didn't work, outright refusing to go to school. In my parents efforts to make me go they became increasingly physically abusive until I called an abuse hotline thinking that the law would make them stop, but instead DSS took me away and I ended up in a home for juvinile delinquents... it only gets worse from there, so I'll spare you from the rest.............ASD is a condition that does make life more of a challenge for a child and their family, but, if the parents recognize that their child is different and accepts them for who they are, doesn't discourage and compare them to other children, and soothes them if they ever do come home broken and blistered from abuse the outside world will most likley -at least a few times- dish out their way, the child will be happy with themselves and grow into a secure, strong and thus happy adult. Autism Spectrum Disorder does not have to be an affliction worse than death or even an affliction at all. It can be a blessing.

    The Group at Gestalt http://asdgestalt.com We are happy with who we are, our good days and our bad.

  115. William G. Hartwell. I am a 45 year old Aspie who writes space opera and fan fiction. My website is at http://www.macmanusnet.net and my fanfiction can be found at http://www.macmanusnet.net/crystal.htm and (along with my occasional random postings) at http://yinepuhotep.livejournal.com

  116. Will H, 16, UK. I have been diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and I am currently enrolled at College doing a National Diploma in Software Development, and i'm currently doing better at the course than so called "normal" people. I also have plenty of friends that know that i'm autistic and accept me for who i am. Sure my Asperger's has been a challenge, but it has also given me the ability and the courage to think for myself rather than simply taking the answer's that other people have given me, and I certainly don't agree with this nonsense.

  117. My name is Steve Wareham I am 35 years old and I live in Muskoka Ontario Canada. I was recently diagnosed (less than a year ago) with Aspergers Syndrome and after a lifetime of possibly wrong diagnoses of everything from A.D.D (Attention Deficit Disorder) to O.C.D (obsessive compulsive disorder) to S.A.D (Social Anxiety Disorder) and a few other 3 letter disorders I cant remember at the moment I'm extremely relived to finally find out exactly why I am the way that I am, that im not alone and that there is actually people out there that do understand me and what I have been and am presently going through. I would just like to say thank you to the makers of this site and sites like it because without them I would still be "lost in my own little world" without a map thinking I was completely alone : )

  118. Jeremy Allerman 29 Aspie. Ms .Murphy's writings were the some of the most insulting things I've ever read. If she's autistic she sure is a token autistic for the curbies. That just made me sick. Please add my name against that disgusting hate filled garbage that she wrote.

  119. My name is Perla Messina, I am 45 years old, female, have a University degree (BA) in Psychology and Sociology, and will be following an MA degree in Blind/Deaf-blind rehabilitation. I have a blog on Yahoo 360 http://360.yahoo.com/my_profile-r8nZgeA_dLRlL9fgLOQoD.U8ViRiLZCm where I write about my encounters with Asperger's Syndrome, how I self diagnosed, how I found out that my brother and mom also had it and how I have gained back my self-confidence through better understanding about my abilities and 'inabilities' (and I say inabilities because they are not disabilities, they are just things that I do not do, but they do not disable me). I have also helped my brother and many of my friends to also understand their situation and betetr their lives through that power of knowing!

  120. Leila M. Shirley, 47 years old, high functioning autism, http://hometown.aol.com/proflemar

  121. Chris Van - diagnosed aspie last year at 43 years old. Have aspie son. It is not easy to be different. It is not always easy to accept difference. However, I would not want it any other way - when I look at the NT world and look again at my world I realise that I would not trade it for anything.
    Yes, it would be nice to be understood; to be allowed to be different - to be accepted for just being who I am and where |I am at - that would be perfect. But this world is not perfect - and who is to say that the world as seen from the viewpoint of someone on the spectrum is wrong - compared to what? Who says NT's are right? Maybe the world would be a better place if there were many many more of us!
    Celebrate our difference - we need to stop apologising for it - WHY should we have to say things like "good morning" when it cetainly is not a good morning but we have to say it to be "polite" - to fit in with NT's - maybe they should fit in with us and stop expecting greetings etc?

  122. Christopher Zittlow- Aspergers husbund and devoted father

  123. Christian Zittlow- Autism spectrum Disorder- Loving son and brother

  124. Evonne Acevedo http://www.greeninteger.com/pipbios_detail.cfm?PIPAuthorID=10

  125. Julius Parrish, 13 year old autistic boy and his family, Catherine Hall-Parrish, Ted Parrish and his sister Jaali Parrish. Julius does not see autism as his enemy and we feel that it is nothing to be ashamed of or angry about.

  126. Mark S. Swanson, NJ, USA. I am the father of a 15-year-old with Asperger's and I am an Aspie myself. If anyone wants to figure out what causes people to be wired for autism, ask a parent. I get the blame, I get the credit. I hope that parents of auties or aspies or whatever we are will be able look past their grief, dump their Autism Speaks memberships and celebrate their kids the way they are.

  127. Valerie "lastcrazyhorn" Hobbs. 23 years old and just diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome this year. Proud aspie. My site: Odd One Out - http://lastcrazyhorn.wordpress.com - "Reality with a refreshing slice of aspie." And just to combat those myths about aspies not being able to do higher education . . . I graduated from Mars Hill College (in Mars Hill, NC) in 2006 with a BME- Bachelor of Music Education, instrumental concentration, magna cum laude. I graduated in the top 10% of my class, and am, consequently, also a member of Alpha Chi, a national honors society. I'm now attending Texas Woman's University as a graduate student working to attain an MA in Music Therapy. I have three unpublished novels (they're still being edited), and in addition to that and music, I also draw. See here for my art: http://www.ratemydrawings.com/user/lastcrazyhorn. I have friends and a boyfriend. The people around me tell me that I make their lives fun with my bright smile and energetic soul. I enjoy life. I am not miserable. I'm proud to be who I am, and am also proud to be part of the community of those on the autism spectrum. They're some of the most honest, hard working, kind hearted people that I've ever had the chance to be associated with; I wouldn't trade them in for all the world.

  128. J. Brian Harris, Ph.D., P.E., Wisconsin Professional Engineer No. 31406. I am autistic, apparently in the sense first described by Dr. Leo Kanner, in that I have a form of focal, intransigent language delay, and in that I have never learned to "think in words," or to "think in pictures." A spatially-mapped quantitative electroencephalogram more than fifteen years ago suggests to me that the way my brain functions is essentially the same as the way a newborn's brain functions. So does my experience with what I subjectively experience as existence and the process of change which appears to me to be what allows existence to exist. I find that I seem to live in a world in which, to me, it always appears as though everything is exactly as it "should be." To me, fear is like a question as to whether I am being appropriately careful in what I am doing, and is always a fleetingly transient experience. To me, anger is like a question as to whether I have been appropriately careful in what I have been doing, and is also, always, a fleetingly transient experience. To me, this moment, now, is all that actually exists. The future is, to me, a form of imagination, commonly called planning. What I plan never happens exactly the way I plan it. The past is, to me, a form if imagining what may have happened, and is always of some amount of error, for I find I can never observe anything without error, and I find that memory is always reconstructive. What I remember is never exactly what happened. I find that I can never find fault with any person, yet I can protest what I experience as harm, so long as I do so without faulting anyone. I am a Life Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and am a member of the National Society of Professional Engineers, the Wisconsin Society of Professional Engineers, the Biomedical Engineering Society, the Association for Psychological Science, and other groups. I participate in many social organizations. I do not allow other people who seem unable to understand me to isolate me from them, nor do I force my way into situations unless I sense serious to catastrophic plausible harm which may happen if I do not make an effort to connect with others. I am a Wisconsin Certified Master Electrician and a Chicago, Illinois Supervising General Electrician, am an Extra Class amateur ratio operator (license W9GUO), and I began a small, part-time electronics/engineering business.when I was in sixth grade. I find that I am neither more nor less "normal" than anyone else, for I find everyone to be so perfectly unique that I cannot show that anyone and everyone is other than perfectly normal. This happens with me because I, personally, can find no way to compare one person with another except through what I subjectively experience as unconscionably painful dishonesty. It appears to me that people exist so as to learn from life experiences, including experiences with other people, and to share experiences with other people, doing so with simple decency. To me, simple decency rules out judging self or others, rules out believing that anyone did anything other than what the person could actually best do, and to me, life is a process which is always profoundly meaningful. I find the basis of life to be collaboration and not competition. I find the whole range of the diversity of human life to be not only normal, but optimal. I find that autism is a condition in which a person has difficulty, some times to the point of being impossible in a long lifetime, to internalize dishonesty through the processes of socialization and acculturation. My doctoral dissertation is, "Mental Health and Mental Illness: Cause, Purpose, Cure, and Prevention; A Bioengineering Perspective," University of Illinois at Chicago, 1997, 1998.

  129. My name is Beau McClelland. I'm a 21-year-old high-functioning autistic that is ultra-intelligent and always wins trivia competitions. I love music too and want to be a bass guitarist. Currently I own a blog http://proudautistic.blogspot.com where I let my opinions on different issues be heard, as well as talk about my life as a proud autie.

  130. My name is Cole Kingsbury and as an autistic of the Aspergian variety, I would like to "sign" the petition regarding the "My name is Autism" letter. I do not believe that I am a hostage for which autism is the hostage taker. I don't believe that autism is a defect akin to defective bovines. I don't believe that I was stolen from the face of this planet by autism. Furthermore, I don't feel like I am in a shell. Rather, I celebrate the strengths that autism has given me, while attempting to navigating the due challenges that it has placed upon me. I do not wish for a cure for autism. Being autistic can be beautiful in the midst of the challenges I am attempting to overcome.

  131. My name is Jacqueline Mary McPherson. I am a fifty-year-old autistic grandmother, happily married to my autistic husband of 28 years. We have five children on the spectrum, and two young grandsons with definite traits. My father and paternal grandfather are/were almost certainly autistic, my mother has traits and so does my youngest sister, as do her sons. All my siblings are happily married with wonderful children.
    We have our autism to thank for our 'eccentricities' which have enabled us to lead successful and interesting, if very 'unusual' lives and careers!
    My siblings and wider family are scattered across the globe; we ourselves have lived in Britain, Ireland and Australia.
    Not quite 'fitting in' with our birth culture has enabled us to accept with joy 'not quite fitting in' with all sorts of cultures; I have friends and relations from many countries, cultures, races and religions.
    I do not recognise or understand the many negative portrayals of autism; certainly there are co-morbid conditions which could be managed better, but autism itself is merely a different way of experiencing the world around us, a sort of 'culture-within'.
    If we are accepted by wider society instead of condemned with revulsion or pity we can be an asset to that society. All societies need 'different thinkers' in order to advance and become the best they can be. The least successful societies are those that condemn difference and the most successful are those that respect, embrace and celebrate it.
    Autistic people have been around throughout history. It would be a disaster for all humanity if the current generation were to be the last.



Allies

  1. Elisabeth Clark, mother of Alexander, an autist. My site www.silvercuckoo.com a small site for families of children with special needs. My rebuttal to 'My Name Is Autism' can be found at www.silvercuckoo.com/myarticle.htm

  2. Shari and John Nettles, Athens, Georgia, USA. http://www.mindspring.com/~priyatelka/autism.html

  3. Gayle Fitzpatrick,51,wife of a brilliant Autistic, Charles, and mother of two wonderful Autistics, Jan & Brigid. Members of my family are not "victims"of Autism, but victims of ignorance.

  4. Morton Ann Gernsbacher, Ph.D. Vilas Research Professor and Sir Frederic C. Bartlett Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison (USA). See http://144.92.102.54/autism-sample.html for a sample of one of the university-level courses I teach.

  5. Christina, Wife to wonderful Patrick and Mother to amazing Steven (14 yo.), both with Asperger's Syndrome. :-) "To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best night and day to make you like everybody else means to fight the hardest battle any human being can fight and never stop fighting. ~ E.E. Cummings Check out my website: http://www.members.tripod.com/stevens_mom/

  6. Dennis Debbaudt, author Autism Advocates and Law Enforcement Professionals: Recognizing and Reducing Risk Situations for People with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Jessica Kingsley Publishers, London-Philadelphia, 2002 http://policeandautism.cjb.net/

  7. Mike Stanton, http://www.mike.stanton.dsl.pipex.com/autism.html Parent to a fine young man with Asperger Syndrome. Teacher of pupils with severe learning difficulties. Member - the National Autistic Society (UK) Author -Learning to Live with High Functioning Autism: a parent's guide for professionals. Publisher Jessica Kingsley Publishers. Contributor - Chapter 13 of Asperger Syndrome in Adolescence: Living with the Ups, the Downs and Things in Between. Edited by Liane Holliday Willey. Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

  8. Bronwen M van der Wal Australia. Author of Smoke and Mirrors - The Making of a Stereotype, Asperger's Syndrome and Women's Ways of Knowing, and The Ethics in Question.
    Totally fed up with the 'wallowing in affliction' view of autism and the websites that promote such nonsense and in doing so actually cause any amount of harm to those they are supposedly helping. By their fruits shall you know them - (somewhere in the Bible)

  9. Anne Bevington, CA (USA), parent of a wonderful AS young man.

  10. Kaiden Fox. 30, Religious Leader. http://www.lylyth.org. Autism is not a plague, but rather a difference in the way certain human beings are at their cores. Although the current patrifocal culture may not like an epidemic of this sort of people, sites like http://www.originsofautism.com/ and books like Leonard Shlain's "The Alphabet vs. the Goddess" show that autism is a religious issue related to the battle between patrifocal right-hand-path cultures and matrifocal left-hand-path societies.

  11. Fiona Abbott, http://www.uvm.edu/~fabbott/gallery.html

  12. Catriona Johnson and Ben Dorman, Howard County Autism Society (www.howard-autism.org).

  13. Steve Jollineau - This is nothing more than a sensationalistic vilification and it is offensive to me personally as a parent of a child with AS.

  14. Loreine Wynne, Anxiety disorder, FMS and Parent to 2 wonderful boys 12 and 10 yrs old with AS,Adhd, Pdd-nos http://www.geocities.com/cherishnina1990/Cherishnina.html

  15. Sara and Harry Cook, proud grandparents of a beautiful grandson with ASD.

  16. Liza Purdy, mother of James, 3 1/2, PDD-NOS.

  17. Carol "Caroline" Alvero -Northern California, Mom of 4 kids, including 2 sons autistic spectrum, probably on the spectrum myself. I am so thankful for having the gift of my husband and children one and all. I feel grateful god chose me to learn so much about what is important and hopefully make me a better person. Society's approval of my kids would be nice, but is not my priority. Society's acceptance is more urgent though. Please accept neurodiversity.

  18. Tim and Jeanne Urban Parents to Wonderful 10 year old Michael Dx with Autism at the age of 2.5. Today Michael is a happy verbal little boy who enjoys School,and Special Olympics. He loves to eat out at Fast food places and he Love his T.V. and Videos. Michael is very gifted when it comes to Music and loves to sing with the radio and his cd player. His looks up to and loves his older brother Chris who is in the 10th grade in High School. Michael has a dog named "yogi" who he adores. Michael is a joy to everyone who meets and knows him.....

  19. Amanda Dillon

  20. David and Kathleen Seidel, proprietors of http://www.neurodiversity.com, and Rebecca Seidel, student and writer. We are parents and sister of Felix Seidel (above), and are all dedicated to finding a cure for the burgeoning epidemic of dehumanizing descriptions of autistic people.

  21. Paula Kluth, Ph.D. Friend and colleague of many individuals on the spectrum. Author of "You're Going to Love This Kid": Teaching Students with Autism in Inclusive Schools (Brookes) and one of the editor (with Straut & Biklen) of Access to Academics: Critical Approaches to Inclusive Curriculum, Instruction, and Policy (Erlbaum).

  22. Charlotte Mazzeo-Comeione, Director of Training, Jay Nolan Community Services, Inc. http://www.jaynolan.org/

  23. Rosie Urdahl, Mother of 4 beautiful, brilliant children, one is autistic as well. Founder of FACTS, a support/advocacy group on Long Island.(USA)

  24. Kevin Leitch, Website: http://www.kevinleitch.co.uk/blog Comments: For the most part, emotive rubbish and easily refuted. My daughter, Megan is not in a state 'worse than death'. She loves and is loved.

  25. Clair J, Mother of 2 happy, loving, gentle children (1 with asd).

  26. Robert and Tracie Hudson. Parents of an adorable and very precious child who has Aspergers. Why do people not want to accept and understand that the "normal" world is not so "normal" afterall!!!

  27. Robbie Hudson. Age 11. Older sibling to a child with Aspergers Syndrome. My brother is Ace and I love him because he is who he is.

  28. Donna Daly Looking for Zach

  29. Bob King - Graphictruth.com, Asperger's Syndrome recognized in adults.

  30. Kari O'Connell - VERY proud teacher of children with asd...the most amazing children I've ever met in my life. Every child I've taught has brought new hope and an outlook on life that may have otherwise gone un-noticed. This is for all of the kids in Room 204, 201 and the Patriots classroom.

  31. Virgynia Bingham virgynia@wampi.org I am a mother of a 14 year old autistic child, and wife of a man with asperger's syndrome I am owner/author of wampi.org Where Different Does Not Mean Broken
    Autism related websites:
    Asperger's Support Group of Northern Nevada
    A website about my son and his expereriences with autism
    An email group for folks with asperger's and the people who love them

  32. Stephanie and James Snyder- parents of an exciting and intelligent high functioning autistic child that may one day change the way the word thinks! He has changed his parents ways for the better!!!!!!! And we love him for it!

  33. Digna Cassens, MHA, RD

  34. Tom & Jessica Hodges, proud parents of Daniel Hodges, a five year old Autistic who taught us how to appreciate accomplishements and differences in ourselves. We proudly represent the right of our son to be Autistic and to be proud of what that means to him and his family. How it brings out the face of true love and adoration. Our son is not any different from you as you are from him.

  35. David M. Billikopf, Santiago, Chile. I oppose all forms of discrimination. A human being is a human being is a human being. Three years ago my daughter-in-law gave birth to a child with Down syndrome. We welcomed her into the family (she has eight siblings including a brilliant 18 year old brother plus thirteen first cousins) as an angel, though the truth of the matter is that she is as mischievous as the next fellow.
    I am not knowingly familiar with anyone autistic or with autism, but in a way I identify. How wonderful to be able to live in one's own world, so to speak. The world the rest of us live in is a sad world, sliding downhill with rapidity. I am certain that children or grown-ups with autism have a lot to contribute, just as in the case of children with Down syndrome.
    I would like to add an anecdote, told to me as a true story: In a family of several siblings, six-year-old Thomas was the only one diagnosed with autism. No one ever heard him speaking. One day at the dining room table he said to one of his brothers: "Please pass the salt." The family was amazed. The father asked Thomas whether he was in the habit of speaking. Thomas shook his head. "How is it that you asked for something now?" said the father. Thomas replied: "I never needed anything before."
    Meddling with the wiring of the brain is not only dangerous but unethical. For that reason I have an "allergy" to psychoanalysts. It is not the individual who needs to be rewired but the world in which we live, starting with so-called normal people, from the president on down, who verge on insanity and waddle in ignorance.

  36. Sara Jo Sims, proud PROUD PROUD mother of a beautiful, brilliant autistic daughter. I lost faith and trust in most of the school system when they told me my daughter was low functioning . How can anyone say that a 2 year old who teaches herself how to read is low-functioning? Why would anyone want to change who my child is? Her undesirable autistic traits are exactly the traits that endear her to me more than anything else. She shows me how to look at every-day objects as if I had never seen them before. I have no problem accepting her for the wonderful person she is. I want everyone everywhere to accept her for who she is! The only problems her autism has created for her is the intolerance of others, and that s their fault, not hers.

  37. My name is Sarah Trumble and I'm from North Carolina.

  38. Gaja Sophie Peters, 33, Germany. I might or might not be autistic myself, but from reading things it really follows that a lot of my troubles in childhood (and some still) might be explained by traits of autism, or Asperger's.

  39. My name is Josie Muller, mother of Danny soon to be 31 years old. He was a happy autistic with a mischievous smile, and a twinkle in his eyes. He was also an artist, spending hours doing beautiful artwork. He also enjoyed playing video games and good run in the forest. We made a mistake, we tried to make him 'normal' and as consequence he lost his creative spirit and all his potential. By the time we realized of our mistake, it was too late, the adverse effects were too severe. One was parkisonism, unable to move, he was tormented, physically, verbally and emotionally, treated like a problem child in need of 'strong discipline'. His self-abuse went out of control and lashing out in self defense he hurt people, even the caregiver who loved him the most. The alternative was a psychiatric ward, we brought him home. He is doing much better, still a long way to recover, if ever. We just have to pray. See his website http://www.geocities.com/dansweb2000/ also see the petition online put together by his caregiver http://www.petitiononline.com/dan2005/petition.html. We wish for him and for all autistics a life free of psychiatric disorders that they don't have and free of psychiatric dugs that they don't need.

  40. My name is Beth Nuttall. I am a Social Service Worker from Mount Albert, Ontario.
    I have supported and befriended a wonderful man named Danny Muller who is autistic for many years now. He has become family to me and I am constantly saddened by the lack of empathy and compassion he deserves. It seems no one cares to know him as who he is but would rather conform him to what society considers appropriate, everything he does is under a microscope by "professionals" who call all of his actions "behaviours". What is a negative to one may not be to another. All my love Danny. http://www.geocities.com/dansweb2000/.

  41. My name is Carole Margaret Moore Cole, I'm 52 and I believe that I am autistic. I live in Oregon, have been determined to be disabled by bipolar disorder, but not formally diagnosed autistic. I'm struggling to survive, deep in debt, underemployed. I sell books online and that may become a big enough business to support myself if I get help from a state agency. My son, Zachary, is 16.5 and has been diagnosed informally with Austism Spectrum Disorder. He's been to therapists most of his young life and the one that withheld the diagnosis, did so , so as not to stigmagized Zach in the education system. He felt that Zach's needs were met well enough with a diagnosis of Attention Deficit and profound depression. He recommended that we get an official diagnosis of Autism when it would do him some good- at 18, to take advantage of programs at Portland State University and I would add, in this day - that it might be helpful to keep him out of the Draft, should this horror return to our country. Ironically, he'll still have to register. Zachary has a 24 yr. old cousin with Aspberger's. My mother and all of us look back at the life of our late father and now realize that our father was autistic and probably his mother as well. They both died from complications from strokes and our father was a very tortured man, not understanding what was going on in his head, believing himself posessed, as he died, unable to express clearly what he felt because he was aphasic for 13 years. My younger brother, who is 45 is clearly Autistic and when I told him so about a month ago, I think I shone a new light in his life. He has changed very little from the little boy who Dad would often have to seek out after school if he was ever to find his way home. He was the first person, other than myself who I saw hyper focus on a variety of subjects. We have a sister who is 48 and has taught public school as a language specialist for over 20 years. She has never been able to live away from our mother for longer than a year and always returned home somewhat traumatized. Our older brother is just as odd as the rest of us, but he has special skills, almost like his area of genius is an uncanny ability to handle people - a rare social savant, yet he too exhibits symptoms of an adult autistic. He and I are the only ones out of the four siblings who had children. He has the 24 year old son with AS and two other sons who appear to be quite functional. I think his oldest son escaped altogether and is a sweet man of 27 who doesn't seem to mind that he's the eldest brother/cousin who could end up taking care of us all. The youngest boy is a very talented artist/musician and actor who has a history of sleep disorder and other traits that indicate, at least to me, that he is not untouched by the family "affliction", yet he's very functional and I'm not worried about him. We don't know about Mom, but she managed to raise us all and to become a very beloved mother in her community and church, so she's "normal" enough. I'm actually kidding when I use terms like "affliction" and "normal", because I don't like terms like "suffers from autism" or "has autism". While I will concede that we have all led tortured lives, diagnosed with depression, bipolar disorder, attention deficit, chronic pain, spinal disorders and gut problems, I still don't think that autism itself is a disease and it disturbs me to read the reports from Canada published on the oddizm site. I've never read or heard of so much bovine dung passed off as truth about autism. Where did that poor man get the statistic that only 25 % of autistics are intelligent? That has to be the most disturbing thing I've ever read. I've wondered if there's something wrong with me, thinking that most of my family is autistic - am I just identifying too closely with my son, granting myself the priveledge of having the "disease of the century"? Is is really possible for a family to be so overwhelmingly autistic - multigenerationally - identifiable over perhaps 4 generations? Are there others like us? Then I look at my sister-in-law and my own partner, Tom, and realize that the two of them have something huge in common and that they sometimes compare notes about loving the "afflicted" family. One has to wonder how they manage. Just look at the reports on the oddizm site from the family members who report lives so disturbed and chaotic. What kind of a person actually enjoys, loves and tolerates an entire family of autistics - and they chose us......

  42. My name is Suniti Shah, I am the proud mother of my beloved son, Hasit, who was labeled as Autistic at the age of 18. He stuttered when he was stressful but otherwise, he communicated and sang songs in our language and in English, fluently. Doctors thought he had learning disabilities so, he finished High School as a special student. Until the age of 18, he lived and enjoyed with our family, without being drugged, traveled almost many parts of the world on his own and with our family, he took care of his younger brother after school and was very helpful doing almost all the chores in the house and had a part-time job. He was diagnosed as an Autistic person at the age of 18, when we moved from Manitoba to Ontario. On the name of 'assessments' and 'treatment' by the 'professionals' he was drugged, confined and was forced to live in the institutions. More we made demands on the Ministries to release him back to his family and in the community, he was punished and our family was restricted to have contact with him. After newspaper articles and media exposures, we were successful to bring him home for 7 years. He enjoyed having many positive experiences. Because he was subjected to the severe form of chemical, physical and mechanical restraints, abuse and injuries in the institutions, having no access to the toilet, shower, fresh water or human contact for months and years, he had many ups and downs while we tried to teach him the skills he had lost and to improve the quality of his life. When he did have some down period, the Ministries denied to adequately fund the treatment in the community, he was taken back to the institutions, where the Ministries would spend 'substantial' amount of dollars but denied the fraction of that funding for his treatment needed for him live in the community in his own house, which is purchased by us for him. Currently, he is lonely, confined, being restricted to be with his family/friends, his religion, language, culture, food, fresh water, fresh air, abused by the caregiver and suffers severely from self-abuse and side effects from numerous psychotic mediations, numerous injuries through mechanical and physical restraints. He is 34 years old now. He would like to come back to his own house which is renovated to his needs, having his favourite activities, swimming and playing basketball and to be with his family, but the Ministries ignores his hopes and wishes. His life is at risk and we are fearful for his life. We are looking for help from the general public and families who would like to help us free our son.

  43. Sharon Middleton, Redding California. I have been blessed with my son Dylan who has forever changed my outlook on life! He is the smartest of my four kids with straight A;s and definitely knows how to keep a clean room. He is 12 now and great, no awesome with video games. Yet, I wonder about my Dylan... He has such a free spirit, he is a loving boy, yet so autistic..and I say" so autistic" because unfortunately I am left to wonder what will happen with my Dylan? Will he be with my husband and I forever? Where are the educational programs and job training for what he is good at? I want him to be a productive member of society but doing what he loves most..I would hate the feeling of knowing that the job he may be offered will not what his hearts in because he doesn't possess the common sense that another may have. Sometimes, I really believe that his autistic mind is just more advanced than the average thinking. He is much more articulate and detail oriented than the job market may offer him. I can only dream of opportunities for Dylan to train in employment for video game creating or computer work. Is there a light at the end of this tunnel.? I want to prepare him now to not except the minimal life. With my other 3 kids.. I feel I may not spend enough time preparing for his adulthood. I can only hope and pray we live each day to its fullest! We all are truly blessed!

  44. My full name is Nicole Elizabeth Gabriella Faby. My home page url is http://www.foxcove.com/nef. Please add my name to the list of people who disagree with Ms. Marty Murphy's essay "My Name is Autism".
    While I do not have an offical diagnosis of autism, I have many autistic traits, and do not believe in "curing" autism, that autism is a disaster, etc.
    Thank you.

  45. Robin turrell father of Daniel who has Autism . I am webmaster of runninggoose.co.uk and the author of two web blogs which show how autism issues effects every day life and also a diary .
    http://autism.blog.co.uk/
    http://autism-diary.blog.co.uk/
    http://www.runninggoose.co.uk

  46. I am the proud mother of two boys with autism. A 10 yr old Aspergers Child and a 5 yr old PDD-NOS child. They were diagnosed in 2004. Every day I see my children struggle but I also see the world in a different and wonderful way because of them. I very much disagree with the essay that Ms. Murphy wrote. I just read it for the first time and I could not believe anyone would actually read it and think it was the truth. Yes autism is effecting our children but it is not detroying them or us (their families). Autism is only a disorder that effects them slightly. My boys are wonderful. They do need therapy but I don't for one second ever wish for things to be different. If you have any resources that I could possibly use, please let me know.

  47. Rebecca Mae Loos not yet diagnosed with Asperger's, mother of a probable Aspie, grandmother of a diagnosed Classic Autism pre-schooler and cousin to an adult Classic Autism family member. I don't suffer from Autism, I suffer from a critical and intolerant world. I wouldn't trade or "cure" my cousin, son, grandson or myself for all the pleasures in the world. Chris, Kevin and Aidan make the world a better place just by being in it. They are sensitive, loving, and generally happy people with a unique and wonderful perspective on the world. (Did I mention really smart too?) One should never presume to speak for everyone, whether they have been given the same label or not. This is especially true of Autism, I'm discovering. Yes, being different is hard, often depressing and sometimes seems like hell -- but the only cure for that is education of the "neurotypicals" not elimination of Autism. I have some fanfiction at www.geocities.com/beckah_books, but it doesn't have anything to do with Autism or Asperger's.

  48. http://www.youtube.com/profile?user=Spydyee
    My name is Athena "Spydyee" Whittaker B.
    I am the Proud Aspie Mom Of Autistic Kids (PAMOAK)
    My videos speak for me better than anything I will ever say or write.
    I am a Web Developer. I am the Director of a ASD Advocacy and Assistance Foundation.
    I am the wife of an Aspie.
    The perceptions of the world about Autism has made me a "survivor of suicide", an experience that I do not recommend for anyone.
    (The term "survivor of suicide" refers to the family members and friends who remain alive following the death of their loved one by suicide.)
    No parent should have to bury a child but when you do you want to destroy the thing that caused you to have to bury that child. Great organizations like MADD have risen from these feelings. My son died because of Ignorance, Prejudice, and Hatred. I want to move this world away from those things so no other mother ever has to walk a mile in my shoes.
    Marty is not helping that happen. If your not with me then you are against me.
    Neutrality is a myth. The Vatican was supposed to be neutral in WWII. The Vatican was a cover for one of the largest resistance movements of the entire war.
    Everyone will be involved on one side or the other. Apathy supports the perpetrators of Hatred. Ignorance of the fight begets ignorance of the consequences of not fighting.
    Prejudice thrives where acceptance is absent. Awareness cures all these ills in time.

  49. April Zittlow-Allie- loving wife and mother

  50. I am David N. Donch. Author of "Beast" by David N. Donch http://www.BeastTheNovel.com, a novella based on the true story of an autistic youth league baseball pitcher. I am the proud father of Nathaniel Donch, an accomplished young competitive athlete who is autistic. Nathaniel has competed in team sports such as basketball and baseball, and is also a very capable tennis player. The short novel, titled "Beast" is a fictionalized memoir that gives an accurate account of his youth baseball career.
    Currently, Nathaniel competes in the local Babe Ruth baseball league, and has been selected for the all-star team three years in a row. He also pitches and plays for his high school. He has the potential to play baseball at the college level if all goes well.
    Nathaniel is not an "athlete against autism" he is an athlete "with" autism, and a darn good one.
    I'm an active autism awareness advocate who teaches and preaches that we have a moral duty to expose and develop the great potential of individuals on the spectrum by extending our full understanding, respect, support, appreciation, and any opportunities that will support their personal success.

  51. Hi my name is Yvonne Hearne Sepulveda and i have a 5 year old autistic son and he is the most wonderful person i know he can not talk but he is trying to learn how to..I want to homeschool him but i dont know how to do that. I believe that autism is an effect of the imunization shots that he got when he was 2, i wish he wasn't like this but im happy he is because if it wasnt for my son i wouldn't relize that it doesn't matter if you have problems your the same no matter what and that means the world to me and i just want him to grow up and be that best person he can be without people looking at him like he's mental ill because he's not he's just different and if you pay attention to the way he acts and everything you will relize that he is just like everyone else and i love him for that.. I am signing this petition to aware people that autism is not an illness, the people affected by this are the same as everyone else and peole just need to know that..I want to fight this not just for me but also for my son.


How to add your name
Email theautisticadvocate@yahoo.ca giving your full name. If you have a website or other online work, please include the URL and title. If you have authored a book or book chapter, please give details. If there are other places where your voice can be heard, please include these details too.